**Over $50k raised at 2023 Tamworth Country Music Festival through sale of Toyota hats and limited-edition pins**
**All proceeds go directly to Lifeline New England**
**Funds to help establish a new crisis support centre in Tamworth**
Festival goers attending this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival have raised an incredible $50,123.22 for Lifeline, Toyota Australia’s 2023 festival charity partner.
The amount raised came from the sale of the much-loved Toyota straw Stetson-style hats that were available at the Toyota Zone throughout the Festival for a $2 donation, as well as sets of limited-edition pins for a $10 donation, which were available for the second year running.
All proceeds from the sale of the hats and pins will go to Lifeline, a free service that provides Australians with crisis support through its 13 11 14 crisis line as well as text and video chat, video and face to face counselling, education, and training around mental health.
Lifeline New England North West’s General Manager, Michael Were, says funds from the hats & pins sales will help establish a local crisis support centre and provide training to Tamworth residents to answer calls to Lifeline’s crisis line, in a new purpose-built centre that is currently under construction in Tamworth’s new business park.
“With COVID-19, floods, bushfires and the current cost-of-living pressures, Lifeline’s crisis line is seeing a higher demand than ever before and experiencing record call numbers – up to 3,400 calls per day – and to answer all these calls we need more trained crisis supporters across the country,” Mr Were said.
“Tamworth is a key location for the development of our services and we’re here to stay and grow mental health services in this region, but most importantly all funds raised will remain local and we’re very grateful to Toyota and Tamworth Country Music Festival for this extraordinary support,” he said.
Lifeline has secured philanthropic support for the purpose-built centre in Tamworth that will become a hub for training Lifeline volunteers who will answer calls from people who need support all over Australia.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Vin Naidoo said it was fantastic to see crowds show such strong support for Lifeline at the 2023 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“Thank you to all who came by the Toyota Zone during the festival and generously donated to this very important cause. This also wouldn’t have been possible without the festival organisers and the staff who sold the iconic hats and pins across the 10 days.”
Toyota is honoured to have been able to support Lifeline and the vital work they do for Australians. With the record number of calls Lifeline are receiving, the new local crisis support centre is essential and will help strengthen the local community.” Mr Naidoo said.